BABE #84: SERI KERTZNER,
Owner @ Little Miss Party Planner
Seri is one-of-a-kind. She was nominated by one of our babes, Maggie, who happens to now work for Little Miss Party (because the world is oh so small.) We love Seri for being unapologetically herself, for always striving to keep her priorities in order, and of course, for always being down to party. She's that quintessential bright and cheery New York mama who seems to Have It All, and we're really big fans of what she's doing. Thanks for chatting with us, babe!
Babe you admire and why?
My Boobie Frieda (aka my grandmother). She's the strongest person I have ever known. She is a holocaust survivor who lives every day for her family, is the best cook I know, and is the greatest role model to both me and my children. She is incredibly stylish and so smart. I couldn’t be more proud to call her my Boobie. Not to mention she still keeps us laughing, feeds us chicken soup, and is 95 years old!
How do you spend your free time?
Hanging with my kiddos at the latest and greatest restaurants. I have two boys, ages 7 and 4. I love taking them to fun spots to try new foods and chat. I got very lucky with these guys... they love to eat just as much as I do! My secret to getting into all the hot restaurants? Take a kid for the early bird special before the crowds rush in. We’ve tried some pretty incredible places! Our current favorites: Loring Place and Tim Ho Wan.
Favorite app, website or blog?
Drybar. I book a lot of blowouts.
Favorite beauty item?
Black eyeliner. It’s been a never-ending search to find the right one that doesn’t smudge off, but I finally settled on one that I found from Stila.
What would you eat for your very last meal?
Anything with eggs. I LOVE EGGS.
Three things we can always find in your fridge?
Eggs, Ginger Ale, cheese slices. (I’m eating sliced cheese and crackers right now...)
Favorite social media account to follow?
Simply Beautiful Eating (My Aunt Debi. I’m so proud of her it hurts.)
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world, who would it be?
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
On a Safari in South Africa.
What's something not many people know about you?
I wrote a song about eggs once.
Tell us about your hustle:
I own and run Little Miss Party Planner, an NYC-based event planning company that specializes in styling big events for small spaces. We style events and photo shoots, create content for brands (and ourselves,) and run an online retail shop where we sell parties in a box! I also have two kids and the most amazing husband on the planet.
What does your typical workday look like?
I wake up at 7am, feed the kids breakfast, squeeze in a couple of emails, clean up and get dressed. At 8:25, I take the kids to school and then start my day, (usually with an everything bagel with cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato + a huge cup of coffee on hand.) In the office, I try to get a few emails done before I’m inundated with meetings, calls, and shoots - I can never get my work done during the day. I get home by 6:30pm to have dinner and do homework with the kids. Around 8pm, I pour a glass of wine and finish my work from the day. When my husband is home early from work ("early" is 7:30pm,) we eat dinner together before I get back online.
Have you always had a love for events and party planning? Where do you think that passion comes from?
I think it comes from my Grandmother. She has always loved to entertain, cook, and take care of her family. I think I get all of my drive to host and bring people together from her.
What is your work environment/office culture like?
Fun. Honestly. We do a lot of work in a day, but we always have fun doing it (with donuts, wine and Chinese food on hand!) It's just a fun, warm place to be, and my team is like family.
Would you say that any of your previous work experiences (in retail, etc) prepared you for your role now?
Before starting Little Miss Party, I worked in Fashion for 10 years at Club Monaco and J.Crew. I worked on the production side of the industry, which means daily communication with the factories overseas. It was all about organization. We were the liaisons between the Far East and the designers and merchants, so it was critical to always be on top of our game and one step ahead. This experience translated seamlessly into my current roles, as organization is key in planning any event, big or small. It's a constant juggling act!
What pushed you to leave the fashion world? How did you know it was the right decision?
Having my son. It was 100% the right decision, and I never looked back. Having that year with my first born baby and deciding to start my own business was the most rewarding thing I ever did.
What are some of the everyday struggles with your job that we might not see?
We are professional schleppers, always carrying heavy crates of florals, platters, and crazy decor. People always ask me if I work out because I’ve got a pretty toned up bod... and they never understand when I tell them "nope, I'm just a professional schlepper." Seriously, you should see the things we lift. Not to mention the groceries I’m constantly lugging around in NYC!
Where do you look to for inspiration for new content, specifically for the Little Miss Party blog (which covers everything from DIY to travel and lifestyle?)
In things I love. I love to eat, I love to travel, and I love to party! I find inspiration through my greatest loves in life, and I source inspiration both from tearing pages out of magazines and online. (Hello, Pinterest!)
Do you ever struggle in coming up with new ideas? How do you combat creative blocks?
YES. I call my sister for help. She has a way of doing that by talking through ideas with me.
What makes Little Miss Party stand out among the other blogs and event planners in NYC?
We give our customers all the attention in the world. There is no limit to how much you can communicate with us, and we put our blood, sweat and tears into our events. We are a one-stop-shop, and take care of every single detail so our customers can just show up and be a guest at their own party that we style ourselves. The other element that sets our company apart is our curated Party in a Box feature, which is exactly what it sounds like. We like to answer the prayers of the working moms who still want to throw fabulous parties!
What kind of support system do you have behind you and your work?
I have a MASSIVE amount of support; I truly could not be luckier. Starting with my husband - he’s so good to me. He encouraged me to start my business back in the day, and has been my #1 supporter ever since. Then there is my partner in crime, Michelle. She took on starting the business with me and it was no easy feat. We put in countless hours, nights and weekends to build this business, and she's the strongest partner a woman could have ever asked for. Then, there's the LMP team: the hardest working girls I have ever known. They are talented, LOVE to have fun, and always support my zany ideas and strong will to keep growing the business!
What would you say is your biggest strength in your role?
Making decisions. I am a “doer” and I make things happen. No matter what, I get the job done.
Who are some women in your field that you look to for inspiration?
Studio DIY, Oh Joy and Oh Happy Day. These women have built the most incredible lifestyle, party and everyday businesses and I admire them each so much. Their ability to constantly produce fresh, innovative content is a huge inspiration to me.
What’s your ultimate dream job?
I would like to have my own lifestyle TV show, where I can teach viewers how to entertain with ease and style.
How do you find a work-life balance?
My kids are my priority. If I need to be with them and it takes me away from my day job, then I stay up late at night to finish my work. Sometimes it’s exhausting, but when you have the passion and drive to make a business successful, you do whatever it takes.
What helps you wind down and manage stress?
I get a lot of massages. My poor little bones always feel broken, so I indulge whenever I have the time.
Career and/or life advice for other babes?
It's really simple: if you have a dream, go for it. Live every day like it’s your last, stop worrying about the small stuff, and enjoy your life.
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